Speech given by John Daley, CEO, Grattan Institute at the launch of the NCOSS Pre-Budget Submission,14 October 2013 (c. John Daley, Grattan Institute)
NCOSS has framed its 2014-15 Pre-Budget Submission (PBS) to highlight those areas where we believe more needs to be done to address disadvantage, improve well-being and increase opportunity in NSW.
NCOSS advocates for targeted measures that address the factors leading to disadvantage and vulnerability. For us, we seek to make society fairer by focusing our attention and resources on those who most need it.
This Pre-Budget Submission (PBS) follows on from Vote 1 Fairness in NSW, our election platform, and seeks through its recommendations to ensure budgetary measures are adopted to enhance the lives of those in our communities who are the most vulnerable and marginalised.
NOTE: NCOSS did not produce a 2011-12 PBS. Vote 1 Fairness in NSW calls for a range of measures that will make a difference for those people and communities that are doing it tough. Real, practical ideas that deliver improved outcomes and build a fairer society. Vote 1 Fairness in NSW is a call for all current and aspiring politicians to agree to support measures that will contribute in a real and meaningful way to a fairer, more just and sustainable society. It is a call for us to make sure that when we vote in the State Election we are voting for fairness not just for ourselves but for us all.
The PBS seeks to balance the many pressing priorities in the community with the fact that there are limited resources available. The recommendations, therefore, represent where we believe Government can get the best return for their investment in the current environment and to ensure the best possible outcomes for vulnerable and disadvantaged people and communities.
We all want a society in which everyone can participate, where people feel safe and where they get a fair go. This can only happen if governments invest in both social and physical infrastructure and pay particular attention to the needs of those on low incomes and who are disadvantaged. Such investment builds confidence and resilience and is vital if we, collectively, are to flourish and prosper. In this PBS, we are calling on Government to give human and social services the same priority it gives its financial standing with credit rating agencies. That's why its now time for investment in triple A rated services.
In 2007, NCOSS developed its policy for the
NSW Election, A Fairer NSW: Bold Solutions and Real Results . The
document was the result of extensive research and consultation and was
what we believed the NSW Government should do to make NSW a strong and
fair place. This Pre-Budget Submission is based on delivering what
NCOSS sought in A Fairer NSW and its measures are linked to
priorities in the NSW State Plan.
NOTE: NCOSS did not produce a 2007-08 PBS. In the lead up to the 2007 NSW State Election NCOSS released 'A Fairer NSW: Bold Solutions and Real Results'. The document aimed to build consensus on what needed to be done to secure social justice and how we will know if we have succeeded. It identifies problems, solutions and results to some of the thorniest social issues facing our state. These proposals are not a shopping list, but a set of opportunities for action by the Government, business, the non-government sector and the community. We believe these 21 proposals, organised across eight cross cutting themes, can achieve real results for people, families and communities that live on the wrong side of the economic and social divide.
The 2006-07 NSW Budget will be framed in a challenging environment of a projected Budget deficit with increasing demands for Government services and programs. In our 2006-07 Pre-Budget Submission, NCOSS advocates a suite of revenue and spending measures that we contend would dramatically improve the quality of life of most people in NSW and the living standards of the substantial number of households who are socially and economically disadvantaged.
The 2005-06 NSW Budget will be framed and delivered in an environment of significant public concern about the performance of essential services in NSW such as health care and public transport and with a projected Budget deficit for the first time since the Carr Government was elected in 1995. This Pre-Budget Submission (PBS), Better Social
Results in NSW, gives the Carr Government, halfway through its third term in office, one part of a positive social sustainability agenda for it to deliver on.
This 2004-05 NCOSS Pre-Budget Submission (PBS) contains a package of revenue and spending measures which have been prepared after broad ranging consultations with large sections of the State's 7,000 not for profit human services industry. If implemented, the modest revenue measures would pay for the social spending programs. NCOSS calls on the Carr Government to carefully and favourably consider this PBS, to consider a small deficit if the Treasurer's mid year scenario plays out and to reject any advice to cut human services spending or raise user fees as the tool to deliver a balanced or small 2004-05 Budget surplus.
This submission is the outcome of perhaps the most extensive consultation process NCOSS has undertaken in recent years. It identifies a number of emerging issues, as well as areas that have been neglected by successive governments - such as children's services and transport concessions. Through late 2003, NCOSS staff lobbied ministers, shadow ministers and chief executive officers of government agencies to take up these issues.
Each year NCOSS prepares this Pre-Budget Submission on behalf of the non-government community services sector and disadvantaged people in whose interests we advocate. We see it as a compilation of the top priorities for government expenditure to redress disadvantage and to achieve social justice. The submission is based on an extensive process of consultation with community organisations from across New South Wales.